Daily homily for Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: Familiarity breeds contempt
By: Fr. Francis Onwunali
HOMILY: “…the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Savior. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgment. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. ( *Benedict XVI,* _Spe Salvi_ , 47)
It is a popular saying that “you do not judge a book by its cover”.
This is typical of the actions of the people of Jesus’ home town of Nazareth in today’s gospel (Matt. 13: 54-58), who despised Him because of Jesus’ family background- the Son of a Carpenter. In their pride and close-mindedness, they lost out in the blessings of divine encounter. Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt, and pride goes before a fall. This could happen to us when we fail to acknowledge the goodness in others and treat them with kindness and respect. The person or opportunity we despise, could be the channel of our breakthrough.
In the first reading (Lev. 23: 1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37), the Israelites are told to remember and celebrate the key festivals (Passover, Pentecost, Atonement and feast of Booths) throughout the year, so that they and their descendants will never forget what God has done for them, through the whole Exodus and journey to the Promise Land.
Dear friends, the message today calls for humility in acknowledging God’s goodness in our lives and appreciating God’s blessings on others too. When one’s mind is preoccupied with negativity, then everything is viewed from such wavelength. How grateful am I with all I have been given in life?
I pray as we journey in life today, we will testify to the goodness of the Lord. Like the Psalmist, let us “take up a melody, and sound the timbrel, the pleasant harp and lyre…”(Ps. 81: 3-4), announcing God’s goodness and feel the positive energy in our lives. May we never despise the good in others. Have a gratitude-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwunali